News-Medical.Net Reports on Recent Tick Study Published in “Scientific Reports” Journal

Ticks found to harbor and release prions of chronic wasting disease

By Pooja Toshniwal Paharia, Reviewed by Lily Ramsey, LLM

In a recent study published in the Scientific Reports Journal, researchers combined experimental tick feeding with tick evaluations from wild white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) to determine whether ticks may contain transmission-relevant amounts of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-associated prions (PrPCWD).


Natural means of the spread of CWD among free-roaming cervids have not been extensively investigated, and they may prolong the endemic increase and the disease’s vast geographic distribution.

Because cervids can carry significant tick infestations and exhibit allogrooming, a common tick defense technique between conspecifics, the presence of PrPCWD in the blood may constitute a danger for indirect transmission via hematophagous ectoparasites functioning as mechanical vectors. The contribution of ticks as mechanical carriers of CWD is unknown.

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